6284 stories
·
117 followers

Archimedes Principle

1 Comment and 3 Shares
"I've always wanted to run naked through town, but I don't want to get in trouble with the king or be remembered by history as a weirdo. I wonder how I could ... EUREKA!"
Read the whole story
jepler
8 hours ago
reply
Would watch
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
Share this story
Delete

IceWM Reaches Version 3 After a Mere 25 Years

1 Comment
A new version of a quarter-century-old window manager shows that there's still room for improvement and innovation, even in established, mature tools. The Register reports: IceWM is [...] a traditional stacking window manager allowing you to open, move, and resize windows. It's relatively simple, easy, and quick to learn. By default, it also provides an app launcher and an app switcher, using the familiar Windows 95 model: a hierarchical start menu and a taskbar. If you do a minimal install of openSUSE, you get IceWM. It's also one of the defaults in the lightweight antiX and Absolute Linux distros.

With such a relatively simple remit, it's good to see that development is still going on. Version 2.0 appeared late in 2020, removing a legacy protocol and adding a new image rendering engine. Now version 3.0 is out with a whole new feature: tabbed windows. Reminiscent of one of The Reg FOSS desk's favorite OSes, the late and great Be OS, tabbed windows turn the title bar into a tab that is less than the full width of the window. In IceWM 3, this allows you to attach windows together to form one entity that can be moved and sized in a single operation â" but the contents of the different windows can be accessed individually using each one's tab. In other words, it works like browser tabs, but the different windows don't need to be from the same parent application.
"IceWM's new tabbed windows are the sort of relatively simple improvement to the very well-established metaphor of window management that this vulture really likes to see: small, elegant, and yet helpful," adds The Register's Liam Proven. "We feel that there's plenty more room for improvement within this space. For instance, very few window managers offer the choice of where the title bar (or tab) is located; on a widescreen, placing them on the side, as wm2 and wmx do, would save valuable vertical pixels."
Read the whole story
jepler
8 hours ago
reply
I was an icewm partisan for many years but headed to openbox and xfwm when it was in a less lively place. The tabbed window feature sounds like it's worth taking a look at
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
Share this story
Delete

DIY Mechanical Macro Keypad

1 Share

A nicely finished macro pad from salimbenbouz on Instructables. This one is full of Adafruit components using the Adafruit KB2040 – RP2040 Kee Boar Driver for the brains. Detailed video and guide with helpful gifs along the way!

Ocreeb is a 12 key macro keypad with 2 rotary encoders, custom keycaps and under-glow RGB. The board is running KMK firmware on the Adafruit KB2040.

Thanks so much for sharing

See more!

Read the whole story
jepler
8 hours ago
reply
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
Share this story
Delete

Ekstrand: Introducing NVK

1 Share
Jason Ekstrand announces a new Vulkan driver for NVIDIA hardware on the Collabora blog. It seems to be off to a good start, but there is some work yet to do:

Normally, I would have submitted the merge request long ago. There are far more alpha-quality drivers already in Mesa. The problem is that we really need a new kernel uAPI to support Vulkan properly and I don't want to be stuck supporting the current nouveau uAPI for the next five years.
Read the whole story
jepler
1 day ago
reply
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
Share this story
Delete

Walmart, CVS face trial for putting sham homeopathic products next to real meds

2 Comments

Pharmacy giants CVS and Walmart will have to face trials over claims that placing ineffective homeopathic products alongside legitimate over-the-counter medicines on store shelves deceives consumers into thinking that the pseudoscientific products are akin to evidence-based, Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs.

The claims come from the nonprofit organization Center for Inquiry (CFI), which filed nearly identical

lawsuits

against CVS and Walmart in 2018 and 2019, respectively, to try to boot homeopathic products from pharmacy aisles for good. CFI claimed that deceptive placement of the water-based products violated the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA).

Two lower courts initially dismissed the lawsuits. But, in a unanimous ruling last week, a panel of three judges for the District of Columbia's highest court overturned the dismissals in a consolidated appeal, allowing the trials to move forward.

CFI may need more evidence to prevail during the trial, Senior Judge Phyllis Thompson wrote on behalf of the panel. "But, at this juncture, we cannot say that it is implausible that a reasonable consumer might understand [CVS and Walgreen's] placement of homeopathic products alongside science-based medicines as a representation that the homeopathic products are efficacious or are equivalent alternatives to the FDA-approved over-the-counter drugs alongside which they are displayed."

Dangerous dilutions

As longtime Ars readers know, homeopathy is a debunked pseudoscience that dabbles with toxic substances intended to be diluted into oblivion. The practice rests on two nonsensical concepts: that a toxic substance that produces the same symptoms as a disease can be used to cure that disease (like cures like); and that the therapeutic potency of a substance increases with more and more ritualistic dilution, even far beyond the point at which not a single atom of the starting substance remains (the law of infinitesimals). In fact, some homeopaths believe that water molecules can have "memory" of substances.

At best, homeopathic products are watery placebos. At worst, they're poorly diluted toxic potions. The latter isn't just a hypothetical. In 2017, the FDA confirmed elevated levels of the toxic substance belladonna (deadly nightshade) in homeopathic teething products intended for infants. The FDA's finding followed reports of 10 infant deaths and more than 400 illnesses connected to the products.

As such, consumer and advocacy groups, such as the CFI, have long railed against the sale of homeopathic products. And the CFI doesn't mince words. "Homeopathy is bunk," the organization wrote regarding its lawsuit against Walmart. "All evidence demonstrates that it doesn't work at any level above that of a placebo. And it can't work, unless every understanding of science we have is incorrect." But, placed alongside legitimate medicines in pharmacy aisles, like those in Walmart and CVS,  they are "peddled to an unsuspecting public as a cure for everything from ear aches to asthma."

In the two lower DC courts, the claim that the products' placement in stores could mislead consumers about their efficacy gave judges pause. The judges argued that the placement on shelves with real medicine didn't "constitute an actionable 'representation' as to efficacy" in regard to violating the CPPA.

But the appeals court judges disagreed. They noted that courts in the past have found that such non-verbal cues and imagery may indeed be considered misleading to consumers. For one example, they pointed to a 2017 case in which obsolete motor oils were sold on the same store shelf as non-obsolete motor oils. When the defendants tried to have the case tossed for "failure to recite a cognizable deceptive practice," the federal district court dismissed the motion, suggesting that it considered the product placement a potentially deceptive practice. That was even despite the fact that the obsolete motor oils carried a warning on their back labels that said the oil "is not suitable for use in most gasoline powered automotive engines built after 1988."

“Victory”

Further, the panel argued that it's plausible that a "reasonable consumer" could be misled by homeopathic products' placement near real medicine. They noted earlier court rulings that determined that a "parent walking down the dairy aisle in a grocery store, possibly with a child or two in tow, is not likely to study with great diligence the contents of a complicated product package, searching for and making sense of fine-print disclosures...  Nor does the law expect this of the reasonable consumer."

The panel also quoted a statement from the Federal Trade Commission on homeopathic products, which warned that even carefully read package labeling saying that the product is "based on traditional homeopathic theories" might not signal to consumers that the product is bunkum… "[M]any consumers do not understand what homeopathy is," the FTC wrote, thus, "the Commission does not believe that such a statement alone would adequately put consumers on notice that a product's efficacy claims are not backed by scientific evidence, and could, in fact, enhance the perceived credibility of the claim."

Overall, the panel concluded that CFI's "factual allegations plausibly support an inference that, through their product placement practices, Walmart and CVS mislead consumers into believing that homeopathic products are equivalent alternatives to FDA-approved over-the-counter drugs."

In a statement, CFI Legal Director Nick Little cheered the ruling. "The Court of Appeals rightly recognized that giant retailers can't just deny responsibility for how they present what are fundamentally worthless products. It's a huge victory for consumers and their right not to be misled." Little said the CFI would continue to fight to stop national retailers from misrepresenting homeopathic products. "They've given us the chance to prove that these retailers are defrauding consumers," Little said of the ruling. "Now it's up to us to do that."

A spokesperson for Walmart meanwhile, told Reuters that the company disagreed with the ruling. "We are continuing to review the Court's decision and weighing our options for further appellate review," the spokesperson said in an email.

Read the whole story
jepler
2 days ago
reply
They just put the fake products there as a form of satire, a critique of our medical system.
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
acdha
2 days ago
reply
Good
Washington, DC
Share this story
Delete

Korean deaf LGBT activists create new signs to express identities with pride - The Korea Times

2 Shares

Korean deaf LGBT activists create new signs to express identities with pride

Print Preview
Font Size Up
Font Size Down

 Woo Ji-yang, left, and Kim Bo-seok, Korean Deaf LGBT activists, sign 'LGBT' in Korean Sign Language during an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul, Monday. The group created 37 alternative sign expressions that sexual minorities can use with pride. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
Woo Ji-yang, left, and Kim Bo-seok, Korean Deaf LGBT activists, sign "LGBT" in Korean Sign Language during an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul, Monday. The group created 37 alternative sign expressions that sexual minorities can use with pride. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Deaf activists come forward to eliminate hate, prejudice against sexual minorities in Korean Sign Language

By Lee Hae-rin

Woo Ji-yang, 33, is a deaf gay man based in the southern city of Busan. For most of his life, he felt shame and humiliation when he introduced his sexual identity in Korean Sign Language (KSL). The manual sign for "gay" in KSL describes an act of anal intercourse between two men.

Gyeonggi-based CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and gay man Kim Bo-seok, 34, confessed he has lived through a dilemma similar to that of Woo's. He has been a bridge between the hearing and deaf community as a child of deaf parents and a sign language researcher studying KSL for his Ph.D., but the sign language expressions that contain overly sexualized and degrading connotations of sexual minorities have made him hesitate to come out and live freely for a long time.

Similarly, the sign language expression for "lesbian" in Korea visualizes a particular act of intercourse ― two women rubbing bodies against each other. Such expressions are often used with frowns upon sign translators' faces, although the sign does not contain any use of negative facial expressions by definition. Most importantly, they are "offensive and misleading terms, which can arouse self-contempt from an LGBT signer's perspective," Woo and Kim said during a recent interview with The Korea Times.

So they gathered with likeminded deaf sexual minorities in December 2019 and formed an advocacy group titled Korean Deaf LGBT, to create alternative languages that they can use with pride and respect. Because they believe "language must be shaped by those who use it."

 Woo Ji-yang, left, and Kim Bo-seok, Korean Deaf LGBT activists, sign 'LGBT' in Korean Sign Language during an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul, Monday. The group created 37 alternative sign expressions that sexual minorities can use with pride. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
Woo Ji-yang, left, and Kim Bo-seok communicate in sign language during an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul, Monday. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Problems with KSL

The KSL expressions that have made Kim and Woo ― and most likely the rest of the undocumented deaf sexual minorities in the country ― feel uncomfortable about expressing their sexual identities, are, surprisingly, official sign expressions registered in the KSL dictionary authorized by the National Institute of Korean Language.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which oversees the national language institute, declared it would standardize KSL and spread the use of sign language to enhance the life and education of deaf people in 2000. As a result, the institute published the KSL dictionary as a joint project with the Korean Association of the Deaf five years later.

With the enactment of the Korean Sign Language Act in 2016, KSL earned status equal to that of spoken Korean and was recognized as an independent and native language used by deaf Koreans. In April 2017, the dictionary was developed online to ease the access of KSL terms to more deaf and hearing people, featuring videos, drawings and explanations.

However, most of the terminologies contained in this dictionary are "far from actual expressions used by deaf people," and fail to fully represent the deaf community, the two activists said. Spoken languages, which, by their nature, tend to evolve like a living organisms over time by people who use them. On the other hand, the standardization of KSL at the time failed to recognize sign language as an independent language and was rather based on an artificial translation of spoken Korean, without sufficient reflection of the deaf culture.

Lee Jun-woo, a professor of social welfare at Kangnam University, who has led several governmental and academic studies on KSL and heads the Association of Korean Sign Language Studies, agreed with the limitations of the past KSL standardization project, while highlighting the last generation of scholars' good intentions to democratize sign language. The academic circle has only recently started to see a paradigm shift to viewing KSL as an independent language and appreciating deaf signers' discourse as linguistic resources since about a decade ago.

Although KSL and deaf studies have changed, the progress in real life seemed too slow to catch up the fast-changing human rights agenda, the activists said. As long as the only language they were given to identify themselves was rooted in the prejudice and hatred of the LGBT community, the country's deaf sexual minorities won't be able to speak up for a better life, they thought.

 Woo Ji-yang, left, and Kim Bo-seok, Korean Deaf LGBT activists, sign 'LGBT' in Korean Sign Language during an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul, Monday. The group created 37 alternative sign expressions that sexual minorities can use with pride. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
Woo Ji-yang, left, moves his right fist forward from his chest with his thumb up to sign "gay," while Kim Bo-seok moves his right fist forward with little finger up to sign "lesbian," according to the group's alternative sign expressions. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Creating alternative sign expressions

When Woo, Kim and fellow activists gathered in 2019 to create alternative signs they could use with pride and respect, their initial goal was to make four basic terms ― lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ― which make up the acronym, LGBT. However, once the project kicked off, they soon realized they needed a lot more than four expressions to create any meaningful discourse within the deaf LGBT community in the country.

With the help of the Seoul Human Rights Film Festival and the sponsorship of the Daum Foundation, the group presented 37 new sign expressions associated with gender identity, sexual orientation and Korean queer culture in April 2021.

In that process, Woo and Kim said the group referred to the works of other deaf LGBT communities in Asia, where the language for deaf sexual minorities has been discussed and developed more systematically with a longer history. Woo, for example, participated in deaf community events and LGBT festivals in Thailand and Japan in 2018 and witnessed how hundreds of deaf LGBT people gather to celebrate deaf pride and exchange feedback on the use of related sign expressions.

At that moment, as someone who has been challenged for most of his lifetime to self-identify as a deaf gay man, Woo became convinced that his home country needs a similar network. He wishes that his peers and the next generation of deaf sexual minorities won't have to go through the painful confusion he had gone through and instead live with a pride.

The group concluded that the key to creating alternative signs is to reflect the thoughts and discourses of deaf people of diverse sexual identities, including gays, lesbians, asexuals and pansexuals.

The alternative sign expressions the group presented to the world were very different from the standard ones of the KSL. For example, their new sign for "gay" expresses "a man who is attracted to another man," to emphasize their sexual orientation, by a right fist with a thumb up moving forward from one's chest. The alternative sign expression for "marriage," on the other hand, was adopted from the standard KSL term that means celebration, which gestures fireworks and an arch of flowers ― with a fist clenching and unclenching three times over one's face, moving to the right. In contrast, the older, standard KSL expression visualizes the union of a man and a woman.

Many new terms that are not in the KSL dictionary, including "queer," "non-binary," "coming out" and "ally," were newly created. The group also differentiated between HIV and AIDS, which had never been differentiated in the previous KSL dictionary, and have been wrongly used with frowns by translators. A total of 37 gender-neutral expressions that are free from prejudice against sexual minorities came to see the light of day in publications and websites.

Challenges ahead

These new expressions were welcomed on social media and widely used by many deaf sexual minorities, allies and human rights advocacy groups around them, they said. However, the challenge lies ahead for the expressions to be available for the entire signing population in the country, which amounts to over 340,000 deaf and over 3,000 sign language interpreters.

 Woo Ji-yang, left, and Kim Bo-seok, Korean Deaf LGBT activists, sign 'LGBT' in Korean Sign Language during an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul, Monday. The group created 37 alternative sign expressions that sexual minorities can use with pride. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
A KSL interpreter translates an announcement made by Jeong Eun-kyung, the former director of the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Screenshot from the internet

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, media accessibility for deaf people has become a social issue in Korea. The regular briefing by the Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) introduced live sign interpretation next to the spoken announcement, while the need for the improvement of the working conditions for sign translators in television broadcasts has received some attention in the local newspapers.

However, the amount of information accessible to deaf people is still relatively small and limited, said Lee, as basically all media communications in the country are "spoken-Korean-centered." The activists agreed that there is no common platform or institution for deaf discourses in Korea where ideas, information and newly created terms can be spread and shared.

The low quality of the existing sign interpretations broadcast is another challenge, because they leave little room for the discussion and development of new sign expressions, according to the activists.

The group and their deaf peers think only 20 percent of the sign interpretations provided in media and daily life are understandable. Lee, who led research in deaf communication at the National Institute of Korean Language in 2020, also said that the average percentage that deaf people understand of sign interpretations is far lower than 50 percent.

The professor explained that the current KSL interpretation licensing system fosters generalists. The Korea Association of the Deaf, an organization which oversees the government certification system of sign interpretation, told The Korea Times it recognizes the need to advance the quality of sign interpretation by subdividing translators' areas of specialty in terms of training and career, and plans to improve the system, although it did not give a timeline to achieve those goals.

In response, the group has been monitoring sign interpretations provided in events held by human rights groups since March of 2021 and provided detailed reports with suggestions to improve translation quality. Lee said that more feedback from deaf people on sign language interpretation services needs to be heard in order to advance the country's use of KSL.

 Woo Ji-yang, left, and Kim Bo-seok, Korean Deaf LGBT activists, sign 'LGBT' in Korean Sign Language during an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul, Monday. The group created 37 alternative sign expressions that sexual minorities can use with pride. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
Seen are the hands of the Korean Deaf LGBT activists Kim Bo-seok, left, and Woo Ji-yang. The two activists got a tattoo of friendship last year, with a man flying over a rainbow. Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

By the end of this year, Korean Deaf LGBT plans to file a formal complaint to the National Institute of Korean Language to remove the existing sign expressions, which they believe are based on prejudice against LGBT people, from the KSL dictionary. The activists think that it might be difficult for the expressions they created to be registered on the dictionary, but they feel strongly that the language of the past, which spreads shame and hatred against minorities, should no longer be used.

In the future, the group wishes to bring more diverse deaf people together to lead human rights activism in the deaf community. All deaf people have double identities as minorities ― as they are deaf LGBT people, some could be deaf workers, deaf women and deaf youth ― and they wish to build a new momentum in the deaf human rights movement.

"For that, we believe we all need to come together ― the deaf and hearing people, as well as the sign translators," Kim said.

"In reality, there is still a huge gap between the hearing and deaf communities," Woo said. In that sense, his favorite KSL expression is "connection," which gestures a connection of two circles made with one's index fingers touching the thumbs of both hands.


The interview with Woo Ji-yang and Kim Bo-seok was interpreted by Myung Hye-jin, a KSL translator and researcher at the Korea Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Research Institute.
Read the whole story
jepler
2 days ago
reply
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
acdha
2 days ago
reply
Washington, DC
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories